Moment of Clarity: Husband Isn’t Interested in Sex
We understand. Sometimes, problems with romantic relationships, friendships, career or family life get you down. And we want to help. That’s why JET is working with therapist, Jinnie Cristerna, who will take your questions and offer some sage, sanity-restoring advice every Tuesday.
You can submit your own question via our contact form and don’t fret, we’ll keep your name and identity confidential. First up, we have a question from a reader we’ll call “Hot and Bothered.”
Question: My husband and I have not been intimate in five months and I am confident that he is not cheating on me. He has gained 190 pounds and won’t go to counseling. He just isn’t interested in sex. What should I do? – Signed, Hot and Bothered
Dear Hot and Bothered,
If your husband is not interested in sex – it is easy to understand why you are hot and bothered! Intimacy is important in many relationships because it allows couples to stay connected at a deep level. When intimacy or sex stops, something is afoul and signals that there is either a problem within the relationship OR something has grabbed the attention of one or both partners. Only you two know which ‘problem’ is more accurate for your situation.
Let’s walk through the process of thinking about what type of problem you may be experiencing and how to potentially address it – especially if he doesn’t want to go to counseling.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!
I’ll begin with the presumption that you both enjoyed having sex with each other at some point. Take a moment and think back to when that pleasure began to go away – what was happening? For example, did you two begin arguing a lot? Did he experience a major setback at work? Did a trauma get stirred up?
If you can identify an event(s) that occurred around the time your husband began to withdraw sexually, you can have a conversation around something concrete and specific. For example, you could say something like, “Honey, we haven’t been intimate like we used to and I really enjoy that part of our relationship. I noticed things began to change when your mother got divorced and wanted to know if that had anything to do with it.”
I’M JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU ANYMORE
On the other hand, when a spouse doesn’t enjoy the same things they once did, there could be a ton of reasons why. If you can’t identify an event(s) and find yourself stumped, you may be dealing with one of the following:
1) He is comfortable in the relationship. When this happens, the spouse doesn’t want to do the same things they used to anymore.
2) He now experiences intimacy differently. He may need a different type of stimulation or foreplay to get him in the mood – for example, conversation or friendship.
3) He is depressed. Everyone goes through a slump from time to time – depression in that way, is normal. However, if it lasts six months or more, there is a bigger problem.
If either of these are the case, you would need to have a conversation that focuses on how important it is that both of you have your needs met. For example, you could say something like, “We haven’t been intimate in several months and that is a problem for me because I love that part of our relationship. I trust that you are faithful – I’m just frustrated. I am unable to have my physical and emotional needs met and I have no clue how to meet the same needs for you. If you won’t go to counseling, can you please talk with me about what is going on or what we can do to stay connected sexually? Or, if you want, we can talk with someone you feel comfortable with like the pastor.”
DO IT BY YOURSELF!
Once you have decided which approach you are going to take and begun the conversation, he will either talk or back off even more. If he begins talking – YAY! If he doesn’t you may have to work through this one on your own, meaning going to couples counseling by yourself.
Yes, you read it right. Beginning couples counseling on one’s own is common. In fact, that is oftentimes the reason your partner or spouse will begin. What did you think I meant when I said, “Do it by yourself?”
Look, you can’t control what other people do, you can only control how you respond. Going to counseling even if he doesn’t will help you learn how to better understand your relationship, your needs, and YOURSELF. I’ve had many couples stay together because one of them began counseling alone, and their partner joined later; I’ve also have some couples part because one person left the relationship long before counseling and had no desire to return.
Each relationship is different, dear. Trust that if you put in the work and set your intention to grow and love fully, things will always work out – one way or the other.
With Love and Light, I wish you pleasant journeys …
Do you have a question for Jinnie? Submit it to us via the contact us form. You can also learn more about our “Moment of Clarity” JET therapist via:
Her site at International High Achievers.
You can also subscribe to her High Achievers email list here!